There’s something very Robinson Crusoe about emerging from an ancient woodland onto a secluded, windswept beach.

It may be more pebbles than white sand here at Pwll Du (Welsh for ‘black pool’) but that same feeling of being completely away from it all still applies, as it does on many of Gower’s beautiful beaches.

This 4-mile walk is a there-and-back route through Bishopston Valley, a steep wooded gorge that once bustled with the activity of limestone and silver-lead mining. You can still see remnants of the mining landscape along the walk, as well as carpets of wild garlic in spring, and wildflowers in the wet meadows in summer.

Discover more walks in Wales with BBC Countryfile Magazine's guide to the best walks in the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire.

Pwll Du Bay walk

3.8 miles/6.1km | 2.5 hours | moderate | 181m ascent (return)

1. Start

Start your walk in the village of Kittle. If you’ve driven to Kittle, parking is available at the Beaufort Arms if you intend to call in later for a drink or food. Otherwise, park considerately along one of the residential streets. From the Beaufort Arms, cross the road over to the village green and follow the National Trust sign to Pwll Du. Follow the gravel track to reach Kittle farm.

Aerial of Pwll Du Bay beach in summer
Walk from the village of kittle through Bishopston Valley to glorious Pwll Du Bay on the Gower/Credit: Getty

2. Kittle farm

At the farm, turn left on the waymarked path down into the wooded valley. This is a steep, muddy path, so watch your footing.

3. Guzzle Hole

At the bottom of the slope, turn right. After a few hundred yards you’ll approach Guzzle Hole, a cave where you can hear the ‘guzzling’ sound of its underground stream.

You’ll then come to the first of three bridges you’ll pass along the route. Do not cross – continue instead on the waymarked path along the river. The path is prone to flooding so be prepared for waterlogged stretches and big puddles.

Pwll Du Bay beach in summer with sea and blue sky
Pwll Du Bay was once the site of an extensive limestone quarry and also a popular smuggling cove/Credit: Getty

3. Bishopston Valley

The path opens out into a wet meadow, where you’ll find yarrow and yellow rattle among the grasses, and riverside trees thickly coated with moss and lichen. The route narrows once more into a footpath. When you come to a fork in the path, follow the left-hand route that goes uphill and tracks the course of the river.

4. Pwll Du beach

When you reach the gate of a private dwelling ahead of you, turn left for Pwll Du beach.

After a dip in the sea, perhaps beachcomb for driftwood among the pebbles, scramble among the rocks, or walk up to Pwll Du headland for a view out over this smugglers’ coastline.

Pwll Du Bay beach in summer with sea and blue sky
Pwll Du is a safe swimming beach, though it’s not recommended to swim near Pwll Du Point (western end of the bay) because of strong currents/Credit: Getty

Pwll Du Bay map

OS Maps: Pwll Du Bay walking route

Pwll Du Bay OS Map

Useful information

Starting point

You can park at the Beaufort Arms pub in Kittle (SA3 3JG) if you intend to eat or drink there. There is a regular bus service between Swansea and Kittle (number 14). The bus stop is by the village green, where you start your walk.


The path is waymarked and is steep and muddy in places.


OS Explorer 164


The Beaufort Arms serves local ales and hearty pub food. 18 Pennard Road, Kittle, SA3 3JG.


While Pwll Du is a safe swimming beach, it’s not recommended to swim near Pwll Du Point (western end of the bay) because of strong currents. The beach isn’t monitored by lifeguards.


Abigail is a freelance writer and editor based in Hereford.